Development of National Highways in Kerala is suffering because of the rigid stand taken by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), Minister for Public Works V.K. Ebrahim Kunju has said. Expressing dissatisfaction over the NHAI’s attitude, he said this is often against the State’s interests.

He blamed a section of PWD officials for the pathetic condition of roads in Kerala. Speaking after inaugurating the 50th annual meeting of PWD Graduate Engineers’ Association here on Saturday, he said that officials and contractors who are inefficient and those who do not act responsibly will be pulled up. Since vast amount of public funds are spent on road repairs, PWD engineers must probe the reasons behind roads that were resurfaced recently getting washed away within a few days of rain. He said that engineers who fail to implement decisions taken by the department to better the quality of roads will be pulled up. A few roads were built by adding plastic in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi and these withstood adverse weather. Still, engineers are not keen on adopting this technology.

He directed engineers to ensure that there is no compromise on quality in road works. Roads in the State have suffered damage worth Rs 300 crore during the current monsoon. An amount of Rs.145 crore has been earmarked to speed up repairs of badly-potholed roads. Officials who do not allot funds for repair works will be taken to task. Contractors will have to redo roads that were damaged within the guarantee period. Sack resurfacing, inadequate drainage facilities, pipelaying works by KWA and overloaded vehicles had damaged the roads, he said.

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